Adoption is love with a tragic past. To not acknowledge that fact, would be dishonest to my daughters past. In our day to day activities, it is so easy to forget what they have had to endure. They are just my daughters….my beautiful, funny, strong willed, smart, enchanting daughters. They enjoy our daily life just as my sons do. It is easy to forget.
Then there are the moments that hit you square between the eyes, and stab you in the heart. The moments when you can see in their eyes the shadows of things they never should have seen. It seems like this typically occurs with Elle Belle at night. I sing her and Mae Mae a song, read a book, give them kisses, and tuck them into their beds. I look into Elle’s eyes, and she is miles away from me in her memories. Her eyes look so sad. It feels like a knife is going through my heart. It hurts so much to witness. Knowing that as her mother, there is nothing I can do to erase these memories. I always give her an extra kiss, and ask her if she wants to talk about anything. She always kisses me back, and says, “No momma. I can’t.” I then kiss each of her eyes as if that will make the pain disappear from them, but it doesn’t. I am thankful that Mae’s time in the orphanage was so much less then Elle’s. However, any amount of time is too much. I don’t think I would survive a day in that environment.
Mae and Elle wanted to watch the video MJ and I put together for them while we “patiently” waited to go to China to get them. Towards the end of the video, Elle looked at me and said, “Momma, you lost me?” I said, “No babe. It just took me a little while to find you. I am sorry it took me so long, but I will never let you go now!” She smiled, and turned back to the video. After the video, Elle and I talked about the trip to China that we hope to take next summer. She said she wants to go and see her friends. I said that I am sure we could go and do that. She said, “No momma. You can’t go with me. You will make my friends sad because they don’t have a momma.” Her comment took my breath away. It made me ache for her friends back in the orphanage waiting for their mommas to find them. It made me proud to have a daughter that is so loving and connected to her friends. Mostly it made me feel terrible. How in this world does a little girl have to know how it feels to long and hope for a momma? Why does she know the pain of how it feels to be envious of someone else who has one? Why are there still sooooo many children waiting, hoping, praying for a mama and a baba? Why? Why? Why?
I also just received the newspaper with my daughters’s finding ads in them. Again it was a roller coaster of emotions. I was so happy to see pictures of my daughters when they were littler…they are the earliest pictures I have of them. That part I will treasure. It also killed me to see my daughters’ pictures plastered in a newspaper with their estimated birth dates, the dates they were found, and a brief description of them. The ads are meant to try one last time to find their birth parents before they are allowed to be put up for adoption. The saddest part for me was the quantity of children that appeared there. I of course wondered how all of them were doing. Were they still alive? Did they find a new forever home? Did their eyes not look so sad anymore? I also wondered about my daughters’ parents. Did they see the ads? Did it break their hearts too? I wish I could let them know how their daughters were doing now. Let them know that they were safe, happy, and most of all loved! I wish I could thank them for the gift of my daughters.
My heart is so full of happiness and love even through these moments of conflicted emotions.